Live updates

Family pay tribute to son who "went to support the forces opposing Islamic State"

The family of former Royal Marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield , who was from Barnsley, have paid tribute to their son who was killed while fighting against Islamic State militants.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield Credit: Facebook/ Jason Matson

"We are devastated to confirm the death of our son Konstandinos Erik Scurfield in Syria where he went to support the forces opposing Islamic State.

"His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour and we are very proud of him.

"We would like to request that we be allowed to grieve in peace as a family without intrusion at this difficult time."

– The family of Konstandinos Erik Scurfield

Ex-marine killed in Syria "wanted to be an actor"

A neighbour of the former Barnsley marine killed fighting Islamic State militants in Syria wanted to be an actor before he became a soldier.

Mrs Mary Hemmings, who lives next door to the family, said Konstandinos Erik Scurfield had a lovely personality and film-star good looks.

She said he moved to the street with his parents and sister from Nottingham about 12 years ago.

She said she had known Mr Scurfield since he was at school and he would come and talk to her about his adventures in the Royal Marines.

The pensioner said he did a university course in drama before joining the military and had ambitions to become a professional actor.

Mrs Hemmings said she thought he may have had a few roles before enlisting in the Marines.

"He had a wonderful personality. He was a friendly person and he was a very handsome young man.

And as a child he was super-looking and he grew up to be a film star, if you like.

"And when he was wanting to go into acting I thought 'with his looks he'll do
a good job', but he didn't get there, unfortunately.

" I don't know why he went to Syria but I'm sure he would have been well aware of the dangers.

"This is what you've got admire about people like that.

"I've had to sit down and pull myself together. I really am terribly, terribly upset.

"He was a lovely young man. He was very, very
interesting to talk to. When he came on leave, which was not very often, I used to see him and have a chat. He was lovely to talk to.

"He loved what he was doing in the Marines. Why on earth he's gone out to Syria ... it's a great pity. "He was confident in what he did but he wasn't a show-off or anything, no way."

– Mary Hemmings, Neighbour

Advertisement

  1. National

Family of ex-Royal Marine killed fighting IS speak of pride

The devastated family of ex-Royal Marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, killed in Syria fighting Islamic State militants, have paid tribute to the soldier.

In a statement, they said:

His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour and we are very proud of him.

– Scurfield family statement

Barnsley MP spoke to Foreign Office last month about safety of former Marine killed fighting IS

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis has revealed that he was contacted by the family of the former Royal Marine, who has been killed fighting against Islamic State, several weeks ago because they were concerned for his safety.

Dan Jarvis, Barnsley Central's MP. Credit: ITV Yorkshire

"My first thoughts are with the Scurfield family. They came to me a few weeks ago very worried for their son's safety and tragically it appears their worst fears have been realised.

"I have been in touch with them this morning and will be doing all I can to support them as their local Member of Parliament.

"It is important to remember that these are still only reports and we don't have all the information yet.

"Erik was an experienced former Royal Marine who was horrified by the atrocities being carried out by ISIS.

"His family's understanding was that he travelled to Syria hoping to provide medical and humanitarian support as an expert in battlefield medicine.

"The Foreign Office are clear that the situation in Iraq and Syria is very dangerous and that people should not travel to the region.

"There is an issue that needs to be addressed as Erik was certainly not the first person to travel to Syria to join forces resisting ISIS.

"There have been several reports of other British civilians doing the same thing, but the Government confirmed when I recently raised this issue in Parliament that there is currently no system to monitor or record people going to the region with the aim of joining the fight against ISIS.

"I wrote to the Foreign Office regarding this issue some weeks ago and will be now following up that letter in light on these events."

– Dan Jarvis MP. Barnsley Central

Yorks fighter killed in Syria " originally went to give medical aid"

An ex-Royal Marine from Yorkshire killed while fighting against Islamic State militants alongside Kurdish forces originally headed to Syria to provide medical aid, an MP has said.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield Credit: Facebook/ Jason Matson

In an interview with Sky News, Dan Jarvis, who represents the Barnsley Central constituency, said he believed Konstandinos Erik Scurfield had travelled to the troubled region for "honourable reasons".

"My understanding is that he had very significant ideological concerns about what is happening, about the actions Islamic State were taking in the region, and he wanted to make a contribution.

"My understanding is that he went there to make a humanitarian contribution, he didn't go there to fight, he provided medical assistance.

"In terms of precisely what's happened, we don't know yet but my understanding was that he went there for honourable reasons.

– Dan Jarvis MP. Barnsley Central

Mr Jarvis urged anyone else with "legitimate concerns" about Islamic State not to travel to the Middle East, and instead support charities working in the region.

Advertisement

  1. National

Brit killed in Syria 'originally went to give medical aid'

An ex-Royal Marine killed while fighting against Islamic State militants alongside Kurdish forces originally headed to Syria to provide medical aid, an MP has said.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield Credit: Facebook/Jordan Matson

In an interview with Sky News, Dan Jarvis, who represents the Barnsley Central constituency, said he believed Konstandinos Erik Scurfield had travelled to the troubled region for "honourable reasons".

My understanding is that he had very significant ideological concerns about what is happening, about the actions Islamic State were taking in the region, and he wanted to make a contribution.

My understanding is that he went there to make a humanitarian contribution, he didn't go there to fight, he provided medical assistance.

In terms of precisely what's happened, we don't know yet but my understanding was that he went there for honourable reasons.

– Dan Jarvis MP, Barnsley Central

He urged anyone else with "legitimate concerns" about Islamic State not to travel to the Middle East, and instead support charities working in the region.

Tribute to former Yorkshire Marine killed fighting IS

A former US soldier who said he fought next to an ex-Royal Marine reported to be killed while fighting with Kurdish forces against Islamic State militants has paid tribute to his former comrade.

Former US soldier Jordan Matson posted a picture he says is ex-Royal Marine Konstandions Erik Sculfield Credit: Facebook/Jordan Matson

Posting on Facebook, Jordan Matson said he was "honoured" to have fought next to Konstandions Erik Scurfield, praising his discipline and dedication.

We were together from his first day here and you couldn't ask for a more disciplined warrior.

"Kosta as we call him was from the United Kingdom and was born a Greek citizen. He served both in the Greek army and as a British Royal Marine commando up until he came here. He served with me in Jezza and Shengal.

"Kosta volunteered for every attack and guard duty opportunity. He wanted nothing more than to bring the fight to the enemy.

"I'm going to carry on your legacy brother, I will never forget you. I love you man.

"Save me a place up there big guy."

– Jordan Matson

100 Westerners believed to be fighting Islamic State

Around 100 people from Western countries - including a number of Britons - are believed to have gone to Syria to join Kurdish forces battling against Islamic State militants.

The figures come as it emerged ex-Royal Marine Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, from Barnsley, has become the first Brit to be killed in the fight against the violent terror group.

Last month, a 19-year-old soldier from the UK, based in Cyprus, was returned to his unit after joining the Kurdish peshmerga, telling family "these guys need our help".

And in December, it was reported that two former British soldiers had also joined the operation against Islamic State, saying they had been "compelled" to help after the murder of aid worker Alan Henning.

Tribute to Konstandinos from Kurdish news organisation

The organisation Kurdish Question, which provides pro-Kurdish news and political analysis, has released a statement.

"Kurdish Question has tonight learnt of the loss of the first YPG volunteer from the UK, Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, nom de guerre Kemal.

"Kurdish Question can confirm that the family of Konstandinos has been informed of the loss of their son and we would like to pay our deepest respects and honour the memory of this brave young man who travelled to Rojava to fight ISIS with the Kurdish forces of the YPG.

"We can confirm that Konstandinos Erik Scurfield died in battle, probably in NE Syria/Rojava although the full details are yet to be announced by YPG.

"The YPG do have the body of Konstandinos. When we messaged Jordan Matson today if he can confirm the martyrdom of a UK volunteer, he simply replied,

"Yes, I am here with his body!"

"Konstandinos fell in combat with ISIS yesterday, that much we think we know. But more details will be forthcoming from YPG soon.

"To all of the family, friends and comrades in arms of Konstandinos we pay our deepest respect and will honour his memory as a brave fighter for justice."

– Kurdish Question
Load more updates